I fully support the Lord Mayor’s exploration of options to improve the Brunswick St Mall in the Valley, as reported at the Brisbane Times this morning:
Recreating Brunswick Street Mall as a two-lane road is one of the proposals being considered by lord mayor Graham Quirk as part of his plan to “fix” Fortitude Valley.
Speaking at a lunch held by the Valley Chamber of Commerce yesterday, Cr Quirk said transforming the pedestrian mall at the heart of the Valley Entertainment Precinct was core component of his economic development vision for Fortitude Valley.
He said that there were two main perspectives on how the mall might be “reactivated” including one seeking to re-open the central strip up to traffic.
“Perhaps a one-way and a slow way [road],” Cr Quirk said.
The best option, however, is probably to get rid of the Mall altogether and replace it with four lanes of traffic, so that Brunswick St runs continuously all the way from the Valley fiveways at St Paul’s Terrace down to New Farm Park. This would yield major gains in reduced travel times. It would mean motorists heading to New Farm or the Valley south of the Mall could make a right turn onto Brunswick St from Wickham St, rather than having to turn after McWhirters and head back in the opposite direction along Ann St before getting onto Brunswick St south of the Mall. My intuition tells me that these travel time savings would swamp any reductions in profits earned by businesses currently on the Mall, and a cost-benefit analysis would show a high rate of return from re-opening the mall to traffic.